I write in response to “Snow job” (April 4 Telegram editorial), where the comments on the snowclearing problem and voters' short-term memories are spot on.
For the past 18 years, I have been an east-end resident and walker who works downtown. Each winter the perennial problem of snowclearing arises. The length and severity of this winter has brought the issue, again, into sharp focus. However, while we continue to rail on about what our city should be doing about snow/sidewalk clearing for our citizens, we all have to take responsibility. It is not good enough just to criticize and bemoan our fate. Action and political will is required on both sides.
To our city councillors and all those in authority — your most precious resource is not the almighty dollar but rather your citizens. Take responsibiity and decide that snowclearing in 2014 (and beyond) is a priority and not just an inconvenience for council.
Do not deflect the issue by talking about protocols and procedures and/or the necessity for further study of the issue.
Do not raise the spectre of increased cost as a reason to do nothing further. Quite frankly, snowclearing needs no further study.
You already have a wealth of personnel at the city and on the road who deal with this issue every day. But most importantly, you have a wealth of knowledge through your citizens. Seek out their views and their input and listen to them — and I mean really listen. I think you will find that the citizens of St. John’s (walkers and non-walkers alike) are a pretty tolerant bunch who do not expect perfection in snowclearing, but rather would be content with an imperfect but timely and appropriate response to the problem.
And to the citizens of St. John’s — Mother Nature may be beyond our control, but how we respond is within our control.
Therefore (notwithstanding present problems with the city’s snowclearing) be proactive and take steps to ensure your own safety.
Be careful in all your dealings with pedestrians and drivers alike. If it means going down another route or side road, then do that. In the meantime, keep up the pressure all year round on the city for improvements.
Assist by contacting the city and your councillors and providing constructive suggestions. Expect a response from the city but if you do not get it, then take action. Speak out; go to the media; petition; form groups; bug your councillor — do whatever has to be done.
It is not helpful just to complain or to throw up your hands or to simply give up when the weather improves.
Summer will be here soon enough.
Unless we take action and keep the feet of our city politicians to the fire, we will all forget about “the winter that never ended and the spring that never was.”